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Brexit: what’s the impact on your shopping trolley?

shopping price increases

Paying for your weekly or monthly shop has undeniably become more expensive in some cases since the Brexit vote. So where are the price rises hitting you most?

More than a year after the EU referendum, many people are feeling the impact on their pockets of some food, alcohol, package holidays and new car price rises.

With the rate of inflation (the Consumer Prices Index) having risen to 2.9% last month (it was only 0.5% in June 2016), Which? has analysed price changes in some of the major consumer sectors.

Fall in the pound

Although exchange rates aren’t the only factor in price rises, products that include parts or ingredients imported from the EU are naturally affected when sterling loses value. Between June and October 2016, the pound fell by 15% against the euro (and continued to fall before a recent recovery), and by 18% against the dollar.

As an example of the immediate impact on prices, a 10kg box of oranges from a Spanish supplier with a price of €23 would have cost a fruit importer around £17.50 in June 2016 and £20.80 just four months later.

Cars to coffee on the rise

Using data from Mysupermarket, we found prices for butter, cakes, breakfast cereals, coffee, jam and marmalade, mayonnaise, olive oil, pet food, tea and tinned fish had risen when comparing April-June 2016 to April-June 2017.

Since the vote to leave the EU, the starting price of some new car models has also risen by over 20%. Prices for certain technology products have leapt since sterling began to fall – some rather more than others.

Other sectors have also witnessed inflationary pressures, notably the wine and travel markets. The average price of a bottle of wine is rising significantly and UK travellers are paying up to 25% more for a hotel room in some European cities.

We’ve called on the government to involve consumer representatives in senior-level Brexit discussions so that consumers’ needs are at the heart of the negotiations.

So what’s your feeling about the price rises? Have you seen any that have particularly raised an eyebrow?


I wonder how high the percentage of those who voted for Brexit in a MARGINAL majority can least afford the outcome? This is but the beginning of the overall disaster that we need to reverse before the U.K. becomes a mediocre economy with high levels of food poverty amongst all the other catastrophic outcomes.
There are no positives in this. The impact that Which highlights has occurred within a year and precurses a steady drop in quality and standards of living that will compromise the country’s future and impact on our children for generations.

John Goodall says:
25 September 2017

The sterling rate against the Euro is sometimes known as the ‘BEXITOMETER’. But then the Brexiteers are fed up with experts who promised doom and gloom. The ‘promised land’ awaits… I’ve found mine. I’m living in the UK and have a pension in Euros and if it were not for the plight of my less fortunate compatriots I would be enjoying the Brexit slide!

John Raftery says:
31 October 2017

When we voted, as I did to to join the then Common market in the 1970’s My Father warned me that butter would become a pound a pound. It happened very quickly. No I am older and wiser I voted to leave.

bishbut says:
21 September 2017

Those who were anti-Brexit will latch on to any little thing to try to stop it happening . Is Which anti I wonder ?


It’s somewhat more than ‘any little thing’, Bishbut.


Supermarkets have claimed that they’re doing their best to keep prices down, but all they’re doing is reducing the quantity for the same price

John Raftery says:
31 October 2017

This is not unique to the UK the same is happening in the republic of Ireland and prices are much more expensive compared to UK


I have noticed significant price rises, and not just in the supermarket. The manufacturers may reduce the quantity as Paul has said but if you focus on UNIT PRICES you can see what is happening.


I suspect that the uncertainty about what our trade agreements will be when we leave Europe are reducing the value of sterling. Hopefully, as the future will look clearer, sterling will reach its proper level. and prices will return to “normal”.

Government is supposed to represent consumers – that is what we all are. “We’ve called on the government to involve consumer representatives”. Who, and what will they do when, at the moment, the discussions in public at least seem to be conducted in childish ways – “you will regret it, “we will teach a lesson”. I was a very marginal remainer, but I have now become a little less marginal leaver keen to get out of this bureaucratic, wasteful and unprofessional club.

I just wish we had sensible people, all pulling together, to present a united front to achieve a dignified exit. Instead of which we have individuals using any opportunity to score political points. We might then see more stability in sterling, and in prices.